Chicago-based architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP has designed a 30-story operable window for the Greenland Group Suzhou Center, a 70-story building project in Wujiang, China.
A major advantage of the 30-story operable window is its energy conservation. The window will be computer operated, so that it can open in warm weather, providing the structure with penetrating sunlight and fresh air. As a result, the building will save 60 percent on energy use compared to conventional buildings of its size.
“The innovation is in the scale; the technique of using open air shafts and natural light goes back to such Chicago landmarks as the Rookery and the Santa Fe Building, works of Daniel Burnham,” Skidmore Design Director Ross Wimer told the Chicago Sun-Times.
The building is about 50 feet higher than Chicago’s landmark John Hancock Center and is the sixth project that Skidmore has worked on for the Greenland Group.
Ground has been broken alongside Taihu Lake for the building. The final designs should be finished in less than a year, at which time construction on the building will begin.